Working with multicam in Adobe Premiere Pro CS6

The Editblog on PVC by Scott Simmons

The Multi-Camera Source Sequence method of setup makes it work well, minus a couple of missing features

I’ll be the first to admit that while multi-camera editing tools have been available in Adobe Premiere Pro for quite a while I hadn’t ever touched them until Premiere Pro CS6. I think that may be true for a lot of editors when it comes to a lot of features of Premiere Pro in general. While I had used Premiere Pro on sort of a semi-regular basis since CS4, CS6 has become a regular tool. I finally gave Premiere Pro’s multicam a shot recently … and it’s very nice. It works well, is quite powerful when it comes to setup and adjustment of multicam angles but it’s missing a couple of important features that some of its competitors have.

While there’s probably many different ways to use multicam tools no matter which NLE you’re working in one of my determining factors when it comes to how usable (or unusable) an NLE’s multicam is boils down to how easy (or difficult) it is to set up a multicam group and deal with that group once it is created. Final Cut Pro X, for example, is a real joy when it comes to multicam setup as its innovative Angle Editor is simple and powerful. Final Cut Pro 7’s multicam worked but was a total kluge when it came to adding new angles or slipping sync within a group even though it, in theory, had those capabilities. Once you set up an Avid Media Composer multicam group it edits like butter but don’t try to really manipulate that multicam group once it has been created because you can’t.

Enter Premiere Pro CS6 and its idea that when setting up a job for multicam editing it’s all based around a Multi-Camera Source Sequence. I really like this approach as this multicam sequence gives the editor a place to always go back to and get an overview of exactly what they have in a multicam clip. You can think of a PPro multicam sequence kind of like a sync map because that’s really what it is only you’ll see it and use it after a multicam clip is created (though you still might want to create a sync map before creating a mulicam sequence just to get that top down overview of all your angles and how they relate to reach other). If Premiere Pro’s multicam sequence sounds a lot like FCPX’s Angle Editor when we’re done with this discussion then you’re thinking the same thing that I did.

First establish the syncing point

When it comes time to do a multicam edit in any NLE the first thing you have to do is establish common sync points amongst all your clips. This can be done in any number of ways but in a perfect world all angles would have jam synced timecode but that’s a rarity these days. Like other NLEs PPro offers a choice for exactly how to establish sync between multiple clips. Once you’ve done that, say using IN points as the sync point, you select all the clips, right+click with them selected and choose Create Multi-camera Source Sequence: read more...

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